-GRE: Frequently Asked Questions-


What is the computer-based General Test?
The computer-based General Test is an adaptive test that covers the same content and uses the same types of questions as the paper-based General Test.

How does the computer-adaptive General Test work?
A computer-adaptive test is tailored to your performance level and provides precise information about your abilities using fewer test questions than traditional paper-based tests.

At the start of the test, you are presented with test questions of average difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer scores that question and uses that information, as well as your responses to previous questions and information about the test design, to determine which question is presented next. As long as you respond correctly, typically questions of increased difficulty are presented. If incorrect responses are entered, typically the computer presents questions of lesser difficulty. Your next question will be the one that best reflects both your previous performance and the test design. This means that different test takers will be given different questions.

In what other ways is the computer-adaptive General Test different from the paper-based test?
Since the computer scores each question before selecting the next one, you must answer each question when it is presented. For this reason, once you answer a question and move on to another, you cannot go back and change your answer. The computer has already incorporated both your answer and the requirements of the test design into its selection of the next question for you. In addition, your score will be based on one section each of verbal, quantitative, and analytical, not two as in the paper-based version of the test.

How is the computer-based test scored?
Your score on each section will depend on the number of questions you answer in the time allotted as well as your performance on the questions given. Questions are weighted, in part, according to their difficulty level. You will receive a test score on every section except unidentified pretest sections and/or research sections; however, a No Score (NS) will be reported if no questions in a section are answered.

How can test takers be compared if the test is tailored to the individual?
Each computer-based test meets pre-established specifications including the types of questions asked and the subject matter presented. The statistical characteristics of the questions answered correctly and incorrectly, including the difficulty levels, are taken into account in the calculation of the score. Therefore, it is appropriate to compare scores of different test takers even though they received different questions.

Are computer-based scores comparable to scores earned on the paper-based test?
Yes. ETS has conducted research studies indicating that these scores are comparable.

Do I need to be computer literate?
No. You can take the test even if you have little or no previous computer experience. The test requires only the most basic computer skills, and these are covered in the hands-on tutorial you must complete before beginning the official timed test. To learn more about the computer-based General Test, download the CBT demo.

Will there be time to practice techniques for taking the computerized test?
Absolutely. We encourage you to spend as much time as you need to become comfortable with all sections of the tutorial before starting the actual timed test. In addition, we ask you to respond to background questions before starting the test. This will allow you to practice using a mouse and scrolling.

How long will I be at the testing center?
Your appointment can extend up to 4 1/2 hours. Two hours and 15 minutes are allotted for answering questions that count toward your score. The remaining time is spent on tutorials, background information questions, unidentified pretest and/or identified research sections, selecting score recipients, and a survey.

How often can I take the computer-based General Test?
You may take the CBT once per calendar month. This is true even if you canceled your scores on a previous CBT taken within the same month.

Check out GRE Online:

GRE: www.gre.org
Download a demo of the Computer-Adaptive Test: www.ets.org/cbtdemo.html
Interactive Practice General Test Questions Online and Downloadable Test Preparation Booklets: www.gre.org/refmats.html#freeprep

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